On Saturday, June 27, twenty participants enjoyed an old game with a new twist during the photographic scavenger hunt at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area. Local preserve stewards Judy and Larry Schaftenaar created an entertaining and educational 16-stop (plus a bonus question!) trail of natural treasures to be found at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area. The twist – instead of collecting objects and returning to the meeting point with them, the participants photographed the treasures and returned to the finish with pictures that they could show off and take home. Referring to a booklet, teams of scavenger hunters trekked the trails, looking for such things as the Kabana Bridge over a small creek, mushrooms, flowers and ferns encountered, evidence of the presence of animals via tracks, burrows and excavations, and the “kettle lake” that is Hall’s Lake. At various points, subject matter experts met the groups to talk about history and geology of the area, bird songs and progress on the deer exclosure and why we are doing it.
Every participant went away with free mementos of the day, and one lucky winner, Loren Shoemaker, saw her name drawn to receive a “critter cage” to collect insects on future trips for further study.
This was our first annual photographic scavenger hunt, but we hope to make it an annual event. And don’t be surprised to find the scavenger hunt booklet turned into a self-guided nature education booklet that will be available for future visitors to the Hall’s Lake Natural Area.